I gave up one-marque car events many years ago. For me, the enjoyment of motoring is in the diversity of machinery; the cool and the peculiar, the quick and the quirky – that’s what gets me out of bed on a Sunday morning for a meet. I tend to find that the owners are, then, similarly interesting. So to attend the inaugural Distinguished Gentleman’s Drive event was quite entertaining, as the entry criteria was not just a simple “pre-‘80s type cars” but also that you must “drive dapper”. To put attire before tyres intrigued me. I had offered to organise the Worcester leg of this global event in aid of Men’s health charities and it was a great opportunity to host something special at the Morgan Motor Company.

A little bit about the event; The DGD was held in countries from Algeria to Wales, and each country had many cities hosing an event where looking stylish and driving something retro was essential. From there, entrants raised sponsorship money which goes to charities associated with the Movember movement. My ‘tache (a leftover from the Goodwood Revival) had a trim and wax, and my ’72 Fiat 500 had a scratchy sponge thrown at it. I was also fortunate enough to be given use of a new Morgan Plus Four; a car in precisely the style the organisers had in mind. I went for an Italian, silk-lined jacket, with tan slacks, some brogue boots and a dark blue tie. I was aiming for an off-duty Roger Moore look. I didn’t get the trophy for best-dressed – even though my girlfriend chose the eventual winner. Well done to Alistair, if you’re reading this. Stephen Venn won the cup for most funds raised (over £16k was raised on the day in the U.K.) and his red MG is a cracker. Best car was awarded to Bruce in a minty Mercedes-Benz SL Pagoda but, frankly, the Ruf Porsche, perfect Skoda Estelle 130 and Citroen Dyane could also just as easily have won. The diversity of cars attending was fantastic, the only duplicate was two early 911s, beautiful bookends they were, too.

The drive part of the event saw a c.50 mile loop from the hills of Worcestershire, where the return point (and photo stop) was Vowchurch in the Golden Valley – until recently home of the longest-operating petrol station in the UK with over 100 years continuous service. Ironic, on a day when fuel shortages meant that many DGD drivers could not attend. The Plus Four was the perfect drive on the day – on Morgans new CX chassis it is supple, quick and engaging. This event is more than just ‘raising awareness’ (an over-used phrase, which often seems to describe a lack of actual action) – it got like-minded people enjoying something fun for a good cause. Dressing sharp and driving such individualist cars is good for the soul. Next year’s event is on Sept 25th 2022 – we hope to see you there!

Thanks to Jamil Jafri, Darryl Sleath and Reggie for the pictures. More info on there event online here – https://www.gentlemansdrive.com/

About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich Duisberg* has had work published in Classic & Sportscar, Practical Performance Car, Modern Mini, Banzai, MogMag, Evo, GT Porsche, Complete Kit Car, Absolute Lotus, Alternative Cars, Classic Retro Modern, and elsewhere. Rich often appears on CBS’s XCAR and Carfection channels, and Motors TV, plus JayEmm on Cars, enthusing about historic motoring. His latest book (find his work on Amazon) was described by SniffPetrol as "hilarious", although he was also threatened with legal action by elderly DJ Tim Westwood. In his Midlands man cave is a 1972 Fiat 500, a Lotus Elise, a BMW barge and a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike. Previous machines of interest include an Mk1 MX5 (owned for 14 years!), an Alfa GTV6, a Porsche 968 and a Sinclair C5. The Metro (right) was bought for an experiment, and abandoned in Africa. "I am not getting in a car with him" -  said Le Mans winner, Derek Bell. *A nom-de-plume inspired by the BBC's League of Gentlemen.

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